In the Heart of the Sea : The Epic True Story That Inspired "Moby Dick", Paperback

In the Heart of the Sea : The Epic True Story That Inspired "Moby Dick" Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


The Number One best-selling, epic true-life story of one of the most notorious maritime disasters of the 19th century, beautifully reissued alongside Philbrick's new paperback, Sea of Glory.

The sinking of the whaleship Essex by an enraged spermwhale in the Pacific in November 1820 set in motion one of the most dramatic sea stories of all time: the twenty sailors who survived the wreck took to three small boats (one of which was again attacked by a whale) and only eight of them survived their subsequent 90-day ordeal, after resorting to cannibalising their mates.

Three months after the Essex was broken up, the whaleship Dauphin, cruising off the coast of South America, spotted a small boat in the open ocean.

As they pulled alongside they saw piles of bones in the bottom of the boat, at least two skeletons' worth, with two survivors - almost skeletons themselves - sucking the marrow from the bones of their dead ship-mates.




Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

I finally got around to reading about the inspiration for Melville's Moby Dick - the tragedy of the Essex whaler. What a tale of endurance by men on the open sea. Philbrick is a masterful storyteller, his prose sweeping up the facts and anecdotes with effortless aplomb. A must read for anyone who likes reading about who go down to the sea in ships......!!

Review by

Story of the incident that inspired the novel Moby Dick. Very interesting and informative.

Review by

In the Heart of the Sea is the factual account of the sinking of the whale ship Essex. The Essex was attacked by a sperm whale, providing the historical basis for the famous American classic Moby Dick. The author takes his usual careful attention to historical detail, describing the lives of the surviving shipmates, what it was like to serve aboard a whale ship and their horrific fight for survival on the open ocean. Heart of the Sea is brutal in its description of humans pushed to the very edge of survival and what it takes to survive for months in a small boat, thousands of miles from shore with no real hope of rescue.

Also by Nathaniel Philbrick   |  View all